What is the country's best-selling mid-size SUV? If you answered the Toyota Fortuner, you'd be correct. As predictable as the answer is, it comes as no surprise. After all, it even beat the Vios in the best-selling sales charts a few years ago, an impressive feat given that the Fortuner is much more expensive than Toyota's humble family sedan.
The Fortuner has been around locally since 2005. As soon as it launched, waiting lists for it stretched for months. You'd be lucky if you got your Fortuner, regardless of variant, within a month at that time. Since then, the Fortuner consistently topped the segment's sales charts.
It's the same story for the second-generation Fortuner. Launched in 2016, many flocked to their nearest Toyota dealership and reserved a Fortuner. Then, by the end of 2017, the Fortuner became the best-selling car in the country. That year, Toyota shifted 39,680 Fortuners, surpassing the Vios by 2,946 units.
So how many Fortuners have rolled off dealership lots since 2005? According to Toyota Motor Philippines, there are now over 220,000 units sold, and that number keeps on rising. Over a decade since its first launch, it has also captured a whopping 30% of its segment sales. To put things into perspective, one in three mid-size SUVs sold in the country are Fortuners.
With that kind of dominance, what is Toyota doing to keep that crown? With the introduction of the 2021 Fortuner, they're giving potential customers even more choice with more variants. For the first time in its history, the two-wheel-drive models get the top of the line engine, with the updated 2.8-liter available in the first-ever Q variant. At the same time, Toyota also brings in two types of Fortuner body styles, namely the standard and the more luxurious LTD edition.
Despite having more power and more standard equipment, prices for the 2021 Fortuner didn't jump up dramatically. The entry-level G with a six-speed manual starts at Php 1,633,000, about the same as before. Also, the 2.8 Q 4x2 is just below Php 2,000,000, which is on par with its competitors. While the four-wheel-drive LTD is already above the PhP 2,400,000 mark, it's still not the most expensive in its class.
By keeping pricing reasonable, adding more variants, and adding more equipment, we don't see why the Fortuner will lose its best-selling crown in the foreseeable future. Will we see 300,000 Fortuners by the end of the 2020s? With the way things are going, it might be possible.